Colts position battles

July, 23, 2008
7/23/08
11:00
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky

Right guard: Mike Pollak vs. Charlie Johnson

The spot opened when Jake Scott jumped to Tennessee as a free agent. It was hard to read tea leaves about right guard based on OTAs. Johnson's been a versatile fill-in for the Colts, starting five games at left tackle and then five at right tackle to close out 2007. When Ryan Diem was hurt in Super Bowl XLI and Johnson replaced him, it took Peyton Manning a few series to even notice. The Colts don't defer to draft status as strongly as some other teams, so second-rounder Pollak, still unsigned, might not qualify as the favorite. But Indianapolis certainly doesn't worry about inserting a rookie into its offensive line -- see Tony Ugoh at left tackle last year and early work from Ryan Lilja (six starts as a rookie) and Jake Scott (nine) in 2004.

Intensity index: Hot

Nickelback: Tim Jennings vs. Dante Hughes and T.J. Rushing

Jennings was a second-rounder in 2006 and played a good deal last season as the third corner. But he'll face a strong challenge from Hughes and Rushing. Jennings was a second-rounder in 2006, Hughes a third-rounder in 2007 who finished his rookie season on IR with a shoulder injury and Rushing was a seventh-rounder in 2006. Hughes may not have track-star speed, but he tends to show up around the ball a lot and in Rushing's chances he's shown a propensity for getting his hands on the ball.

Intensity index: Hot

Paul Kuharsky | email

ESPN Tennessee Titans reporter

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